The Lewis County Family Resource Network (LCFRN) held an Understanding Poverty workshop Thursday, June 7, at the Lewis County Board of Education.
The workshop was conducted by Idress Gooden and was attended by nearly two dozen individuals from Lewis and neighboring counties representing a range of organizations including Lewis-Upshur Parents as Teachers, LCFRN, Highland Clarksburg Hospital.
Gooden said the average family in the United States is only three months away from poverty, she also spoke about the types of poverty specifically situational and generational poverty.
Gooden’s presentation was based off the work of Dr. Ruby Payne. Payne is the author of “A Framework for Understanding Poverty: A Cognitive Approach.” The workshop is intended to open the eyes of service providers, most of whom are middle class, to how poverty effects the thinking of those living in it.
Gooden conducted several activities including one in which groups were provided with 15 pieces of candy and had to budget them into eight categories such as housing, healthcare, and food. Each category had a number of options with various costs, and attendees often had to make the hard decsions that those in poverty face everyday, including having to chose between food and medicine.
“It served as a reminder of the daily decisions some folks face to raise a family. Becoming aware of the actual struggles and the resources, or lack thereof is critical to service providers,” said Barb Tucker of Lewis-Upshur Parents as Teachers of the workshop.